Understanding the Importance of the Honey Bee



Honey bees are important, because they pollinate flowers.

Peyton Johnson, Staff Reporter

Imagine a world without lemons, limes or any other citrusy fruit. This also includes many varieties of flowers and other crops. The honey bee is responsible for pollinating not only those prior examples, but also a vast majority of the United States’ fauna. Devastatingly, the honey bee is on the brink of endangerment.
The bees have been mysteriously disappearing at a rate much higher than average. The decline itself first started to raise people’s suspicions in 2006, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council; and experts have begun to call it Colony Collapse Disorder. They have also estimated that nearly one-third of all the colonies in the country have already disappeared.
“I don’t know much about bees,” said senior Kameron Thacker. “But I know they’re important to growing produce. I am worried about what will happen without them.”
The honey bee plays an important role in the food chain of the large spectrum of wildlife living in North America. Many fruits are dependent on honey bees; including, apples, cucumbers, broccoli, onions, pumpkins, carrots, avocados, almonds, and several more. Without their help, the U.S. will lose 15 billion dollars in crops.
The reason behind the decline in the bees has been recognized as two different types of pesticides. People using neonicotoids to prevent insects and other pests and rodents have played a large role in the decline. The insecticides, not only making the bees ill, will often also result in the death of entire colonies. The few bees persistent enough to survive the chemicals will flee the hive, abandoning it and ending up homeless, or more realistically, killed by the elements and eaten by larger insects.
While the endangerment and possible extinction of the honey bee is a very imminent and real threat to not our lifestyle as humans, but our environment as a whole, there are several ways anyone can step up to help out. Firstly, it is important to try to limit, if not end entirely, the use of chemical pesticides. If pesticides are necessary, try to use more organic and eco-friendly types. Many people have also taken the role of bee keepers, watching over hives in their own homes or yards.
“My dad keeps honey bees,” said junior Ryan Tackett. “I think it is cool we are trying to make a difference, because the bees are honestly really important.”